Bobbystone: Gamifying Your World
The new startup member of LFL
by Stephen Evans
Facilitating communication though play is how technology provider and digital platform Bobbystone does business. We spoke to their CEO and co-owner Xavier Langhendries.
Q: How does gamification help communication and connections?
A: We all learn more quickly and effectively when we enjoy what we’re doing. This is the philosophy behind our “Oh My Guide!” app, which turns our physical environment into a venue for gaming and communication. Doing this engages your visitors’ personalities, and this helps build strong, often emotional links with your venue and brand.
Q: Can you give an example?
A: Rather than a city tourist office issuing a paper or audio guide, they invite visitors to download an app to their mobile. Entering a code unlocks a game that takes them on a tour around the town. Rather than a dry description of the different sites, this information becomes a central part of the game. Marshaling facts and successfully negotiating the trail earns points. One can play against friends and family in your group, or against strangers.
Q: What other uses are there?
A: Corporates use it to help staff, clients and partners better understand their factories, offices, and internal processes. It also has applications for trade fairs and conferences, or any other indoor or outdoor space. So it is not just a tool for the tourist and cultural sectors, although museums and leisure parks find it useful.
Q: How does it work?
A: We make it easy for non-technicians to build mobile and static challenges that suit their aims. It is an adaptation of the app I developed with my business partner Julien Descurieux in the Brussels-based firm Wannapplay.
Q: Why did you come to the Lux Future Lab?
A: This new direction means we have to learn quickly about new ways of doing business. The Lux Future Lab gives invaluable advice and training to enable us to make clear progress. They’ve also got excellent business contacts, and we have been able to tap into their network.